I recently gave a presentation where I asked the group of folks who in the audience read blogs or wrote blogs? A fairly large group sat in silence in front of me, collectively wondering, why is this woman asking us about blogs? What are blogs? Who care’s about blogs?
I wasn’t sure whether to continue on. I suddenly realized I had been living in an alternate universe, one filled with images, video, brilliant writing, incredible research, funny stories, knee-slapping pranks, you name it–and I was finding it every day of my life in the blogosphere. With a public dawning coming over me, I had the clear understanding that this alternate universe had lured me into thinking that everyone was reading this stuff and engaging and communicating.
I was so wrong. I was so off the mark I could, standing in front of a group of people, not seem to find a response to go on. If they were not reading blogs, did not write them, then what on earth were they doing with themselves? I was like a foreigner, a social media outcast, alone suddenly with my WordPress inspiration and a handful of twitter followers. Had I in fact got it all wrong?
Maybe no one needs this stuff afterall. Maybe I’m just naive to think social media matters except to a few of us dweeby folks hell-bent on yakking about our lives. Maybe it’s like voodoo for some folks who are told by a few naysayers that if we start in with that social media crowd we’ll find ourselves in a whole lot of trouble.
Full of doubt, panic rising in my digital heart, I flip to the next slide of my presentation. Ironically, the internet doesn’t work. Karma, yes?
The next day I decide to write this post about how wrong I was about social media but just as I’m logging in I see a headline on a fellow blogger’s WordPress site: Blogging is powerful. It’s a sign I think to myself. I go to her blog. She’s read an inspiring post on Dawn’s blog, about the power of blogging and she quote’s Dawn’s blog, and now I’m going to re-quote Dawn here:
It’s powerful because it’s public but because it’s public and because blogging is rarely a carefully planned event for most of us (most of us kinda just wing it, right? I know I do) it means that people get snapshots of us as works in progress. To me, that’s what’s so wonderful about a blog and what makes it a piece of performance art (as long as it isn’t taken over by product reviews and memes — a little bit of that goes a long way, eh?). It’s a virtual permanent record of our impermanency, a record of our growth and change and the patterns of who we are and who we are becoming.
Suddenly, below this post are a ton of positive shout-outs about the power of blogging and how it has helped people cope with difficult times in their lives and created a supportive community for them off line.
I’m restored. I may still be from an alternate universe to some, but I know there’s a whole lot of us living there, writing our hearts out and that is good enough for me. See y’all on Mars.